Conrad Tao replaces flu-stricken Louis Lortie at this weekend's Utah Symphony performances
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Conrad Tao will replace guest pianist Louis Lortie, who had to withdraw due to illness, at this weekend's Utah Symphony performances.

Tao will perform Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, and just that one. (Lortie was to perform all three of Tchaikovsky's concerti.) The Utah Symphony and Music Director Thierry Fischer will conclude a two week Tchaikovsky celebration, April 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall.

Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty Suite" and "Capriccio Italien" will replace Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerti Nos. 2 and 3 on the first half of the program.

The program will also include the originally planned performances of Arnold Schoenberg's imaginary film score, "Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene" and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. Louis Lortie's management released the following statement regarding his cancellation: "Unfortunately guest soloist Louis Lortie has come down with the flu and with great reluctance must cancel his appearance with the Utah Symphony this weekend."

I asumme that instead of Lortie, Tao will be the pianist to debut the USUO's new concert grand piano. Music Director Thierry Fischer, Principal Music Librarian Clovis Lark and special guest Larry Schoenberg, youngest son of composer Arnold Schoenberg, will present a free pre-concert chat each night, one hour prior to the start of the performance on the orchestra level of Abravanel Hall. Single tickets for the performances range from $18 to $53 for April 19 and 20 and can be purchased by calling 801-355-2787, in person at the Abravanel hall ticket office (123 W. South Temple) or by visiting www.utahsymphony.org.

Here is a USUO-supplied bio of Tao:

The only classical musician on Forbes' 2011 "30 Under 30" list of people changing the world, 18-year-old Chinese-American pianist Conrad Tao was found playing children's songs on the piano at 18 months of age. Born in Urbana, Illinois, he gave his first piano recital at age 4; four years later, he made his concerto debut performing Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 414. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, while the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Conrad was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Sporting a truly international career, Conrad has appeared as soloist in the United States with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, and San Francisco Symphonies, among others. He has made multiple tours of Europe, giving solo recitals in Paris, London, Munich, Berlin, and Verbier, and performed with orchestras in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Moscow, and Singapore. Highlights of his 2012-2013 season include two more tours of Europe, including a concerto debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a third reengagement at the Louvre in Paris, appearances at the Mostly Mozart and Aspen Music Festivals, debuts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada and a return to Asia with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and performances of all five Beethoven piano concerti in the United States. Conrad currently attends the Columbia University/Juilliard School joint degree program and studies piano with Professors Yoheved Kaplinsky and Choong Mo Kang at Juilliard. He studies composition with Professor Christopher Theofanidis of Yale University, and studied violin with Ms. Catherine Cho for five years at Juilliard's Pre-College Division.